Japan PM to Reshuffle Cabinet

Posted June 3rd, 2012 at 1:55 am (UTC-5)
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Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says he will reshuffle his Cabinet Monday in an attempt to gain opposition support for his plan to double the sales tax.

Mr. Noda told reporters Sunday that he has yet to decide on the details of the reorganization, although analysts say that Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka and Transport Minister Takeshi Maeda are expected to lose their jobs after both were censured in April by the opposition-dominated upper house of parliament.

The decision came after a meeting Sunday with the main power broker in Mr. Noda's Democratic Party, Ichiro Ozawa, ended in a deadlock. Ozawa opposes the tax hike.

Mr. Noda, a former finance minister, has pledged to bring the tax hike plan to a vote in the current session of parliament, which ends on June 21.

Without the support of lawmakers loyal to Ozawa, Mr. Noda needs the aid of the opposition Liberal Democrats to push the hike through parliament.